Story by Sarah Murphy Robertson
These days everyone is focused on what is in their food and many strive to live an organic lifestyle. This includes the steadily growing organic wine industry. Organic wine is produced from fruit grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. In the US, to be certified organic, wines must also not contain added sulfites. (Some European wines can be labeled organic if the sulfite content doesn’t exceed 100 parts per million.) Since every country has their own guidelines for organic certification, the criteria varies from nation to nation.
Here are a few domestic organic wine suggestions and pairings for you to enjoy.
The 2014 Ridge Estates Chardonnay is made in Santa Cruz, California at a winery committed to organic practices. It tastes of pineapple, tart apple, and pear and is a beautiful light straw hue. You may also taste ginger and citrus notes on the palate. It would pair well with a frittata or quiche made with gouda or farmer’s cheese and spring vegetables like asparagus.
Another wonderful organic wine to try is the 2014 Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris. This Oregon-grown wine is rich and creamy with tons of melon, honey and lemon zest notes. It could be served with a casually elegant feast of steamed crab legs or with a homey roasted chicken and vegetable meal. Either cuisine would be enhanced by the crisp notes of this wine.
Bonterra’s 2013 Pinot Noir comes from the Northern most part of California. This Pinot Noir has aromas of red berries and hints of fragrant vanilla. It also has some subtle spice and a rich mouth feel. Pinot Noirs are extremely food-friendly and accompany many cuisines well. Serve this lighter bodied red wine with Dijon-glazed grilled salmon or even an earthy pasta dish starring wild mushrooms. This affordable bottle is sold for between $15-20 and makes a great affordable wine option for larger gatherings.